Before I had HP calculators, I had Sharp calculators

The very first programmable calculator I ever had was a Sharp PC-1201 in 1980. I gave it to my sister when I got a Radio-Shack PC-1. It then got lost somewhere. In recent years, I kept asking my parents where the calculator might have ended up. They don't remember but I suspect it got sold in a garage sale a long time ago.

Anyway, I had to get another one on eBay just for the fun of it. It's a beautiful machine:

Forgive me for this nostalgia post...


Valentin Albillo has written a lot about the Sharp calculators and pocket computers.


It wasn't programmable in the conventional sense, but the first scientific calculator I owned was the Sharp EL-5100, which had a 24-character display and could store up to 5 algebraic formulae. I had been using friends' HP calculators starting with the HP-67, but couldn't afford to buy my own HP until 1981, when I bought an HP-41CV.


The very first programmable calculator I ever had was a Sharp PC-1201 in 1980. I gave it to my sister when I got a Radio-Shack PC-1.

The first calculator I ever purchased (August 1981) was a SHARP EL-5813. I also gave mine to my sister about six months later when I got a TI 51-III. It was programmable too, albeit very limited.

This is the first program I ever wrote:

2ndF LRN ( ( ( K2 +/- + ( K2 x2 - 4 K1 K3 ) 2ndF sqrt ) / 2 K1 ) 2ndF LOOK + K2 / K1 ) +/- 2ndF LRN

The coefficients a, b and c would be stored in K1, K2 and K3, respectively, and the program would solve the quadratic equation.

Thanks for reminding me :-)


The PC-1201 was a Christmas gift. It was my choice and it was a toss-up between the El-5100 and the PC-1201. The fact that the EL-5100 had limited programmability clinched the deal for the PC-1201...


Mine too! A cute little machine, my first experience with a programmable, which started an interest that never left me. The intriguing COMP/LRN button which set the calculator apart from the rest. I also like the slim metal case, the excellent display and the good keyboard quality.
I had mine only a year or two, when it got stolen in class. I replaced it by a Casio FX-602P, and just for the fond memories got one on ebay many many years later.


Indeed, both as full-fledged articles as well as many posts in the forum. Just for instance, you can have a look at this article in PDF format:

This is a 12-page article which confronts two great contemporary,
ground-breaking machines of the early 80's, the HP-41C versus
the SHARP PC-1211.
The article includes no less than 6 excellent side-to-side pictures
comparing specific features of both models, a thorough description of their differences, as well as two test-case
programs, each of them written for both models, to better see
them in action by attacking the very same problem using their respective programming paradigms.

Finally, no less than four additional sample programs for the
SHARP PC-1211 are featured, all of them less than 10 lines long yet dealing with fairly complex tasks.

Best regards from V.


My second calc was a Sharp after my wonderful TI57 got stolen from a school locker. The Sharp was the infamous Radio Shack/Tandy PC1 which was a fun and novel experience but rather slow! I still have it of course but the display is bleeding a little :(

When the Sharp PC1500 came out with its 4 colour plotter, extra memory and other accessories, I had the worse case of gear-lust I've ever experienced! I just never had the money for it but over 20 years later, I got one for a fiver. Sadly the plotter pens are dead or missing and where do you get those from today?


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